The Bahamas: Concerns Grow Over Bimini Dredging Project

Nearly 40 years after he first began sharing the beauty of Bimini’s coral reefs luring divers from around the world to the tiny island in the northern Bahamas, one of the most respected names in the world of undersea adventure yesterday issued a warning that Bimini was on the verge of a ‘pending catastrophic event.’

Guinness world record holder, movie and TV celebrity and president of the Bahamas Diving Association Neal Watson expressed grave concerns about the future of Bimini’s waters as the 450-foot long cutter suction dredger, the Niccolo Machiavelli, hovered, waiting for a legal case to make its way through the courts, possibly clearing the way to dredge a channel to accommodate a cruise ship delivering passengers to a resort and casino.

That dredging, say opponents, would wipe out some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the undersea world.

Malaysian-based Genting, which owns Resorts World Bimini, has said it needs to dredge the channel and build the pier to deliver up to 500,000 guests a year to the casino and hotel on the island that is now home to about 1,500 residents.

Concerned citizens who formed Bimini Blue Coalition and initiated the legal action said they are worried about everything from destruction of their way of life to management of human waste, from lack of direct economic benefit to destruction of the reefs.

Source: savethebays.bs, May 15, 2014

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